From Affordable Virginia, regarding Rep. Jen Kiggans (R-VA02), who’s one of the most politically vulnerable Republican members of Congress next year. Kiggans is also just awful, and most definitely needs to be replaced by a Democrat in this “purple,” Hampton Roads district that went for Joe Biden in 2020!
Affordable Virginia Launches $1.8M Ad Campaign Calling Out Rep. Jen Kiggans for Betraying Veterans
Virginia Beach, VA – Affordable Virginia is launching a $1.8 million ad campaign across radio and TV, calling out Rep. Jennifer Kiggans for voting to cut veterans’ health care and demanding she opposes additional proposals that could threaten funding even further. Kiggans represents Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District, home to many of Virginia’s 127,000 active duty service members, with nearly 15% of residents being military veterans (more than twice the national average).
“This is a significant investment in our ongoing efforts to ensure Congresswoman Kiggans hears our voices loud and clear,” said Affordable Virginia director Kristina Hagen. “We are not going to be silent. We are demanding Congresswoman Kiggans stop siding with corporations and the ultra-wealthy and stop voting for reckless cuts to programs that our veterans and military families rely on.”
The first in a series of ads that began airing on TV across the district today features Virginia Beach resident and Air Force Veteran Sean Monteiro. Monteiro describes a common experience among veterans who face “medical bills and a system that doesn’t support us how we were promised.” Monteiro calls out his Congresswoman directly, “Congresswoman Kiggans voted to cut veterans’ health care, and then she tried to hide it. In the military, we’d call that abandoning your post.”
Monteiro is referring to the “Default on America Act” that Kiggans voted for last April, which included major across-the-board cuts to various programs that support veterans and their families. According to data released by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the cuts Rep. Kiggans voted for would have drastic impacts, including:
- Threatening Medical Care for Veterans. The proposal would mean 30 million fewer Veteran outpatient visits and 81,000 jobs lost across the Veterans Health Administration.
- Undermining Access to Telehealth. By reducing funding for necessary IT infrastructure and support, the proposal would impair the VA’s ability to expand video-to-home telehealth services and limit the availability of medical equipment that can be provided to veterans.
- Worsening Wait Times for Benefits. Under the proposal, the Veterans Benefits Administration would eliminate more than 6,000 staff, increasing the disability claims backlog by an estimated 134,000 claims.
- Preventing Construction on the Health Care Facilities that Veterans Need. This proposal would cut up to $565 million for major construction projects, including critical clinical upgrades to hospitals and clinics.
- Cutting Housing for Veterans. The proposal would eliminate funding for Housing Choice Vouchers for as many as 50,000 veterans, putting them at greater risk of homelessness.
- Increasing Food Insecurity for Veterans. About 1.3 million veterans rely on SNAP. This proposal would take food assistance away from veterans and increase the likelihood that veterans and their families go hungry.
- Depriving Veterans of Mental Health, Substance Use, and Other Health Services. This proposal would mean deep cuts to the Department of Health and Human Services community mental health centers, mental health and substance use prevention grants, and other public health programs.
- Eliminating Job Training and Other Support to Homeless Veterans. The proposal would mean that 4,200 fewer veterans experiencing or at risk of homelessness would receive job training, counseling, and job readiness services.
“Congresswoman Kiggans can’t claim she stands with veterans while voting for cuts that would inflict harm on veterans and their families,” said Hagen. “And it’s very simple: all Congresswoman Kiggans has to do to prove she supports veterans is oppose cuts to essential programs and resources that veterans and their families rely on.”
About Affordable Virginia
Affordable Virginia, a project of Family Friendly Virginia, is a grassroots campaign urging Congresswoman Jen Kiggans to stop siding with corporations and the ultra-wealthy and start fighting for policies that will lower costs for working families in Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District.